How many lenses do you really need for landscape photography? I really believe that two lenses is enough for the vast majority of landscape photography, and that that, the less gear we haul up a mountain with us, the lighter we travel, the clearer our mind is to make images when we get to our destination.
Last month I spent around 3 weeks in Iceland running a couple of landscape photography workshops there. Between the two workshops we had a day off and along with a couple of the participants, I decided to take the opportunity to do a photography flight above the river deltas and highlands. It's something I've wanted to do for a couple of years and it really didn't disappoint.
I borrowed the Fujifilm X-H1 last month and spent a week shooting with it in Tuscany comparing it with the X-T2, my usual landscape camera. This isn’t an in-depth review of all the cameras specifications and features, rather I focused on the practical differences I noticed between the two cameras while using them in the field.
Earlier last month I took the Fujifilm X-E3 with me on my trip to northern Norway’s Lofoten Islands to put it through it’s paces shooting landscapes. The X-E3 is a really similar camera to the X-T20 and recently I’ve been getting a few questions about which to get and what the differences are, so after Fujifilm kindly offered to lend me one I took the X-E3 with me on the trip in place of my usual X-T20.
Composition is one of the most important aspects of creating good photographs...and because of it’s abstract nature perhaps one of the trickiest to understand. Just what is the best way to arrange the various separate elements of a three dimensional scene into an effective and cleanly composed two dimensional image?
My first Fuji camera back in 2015 was the X-T10 which I bought at the time with the intention of using as a back up camera to my Nikon D800E. I was immediately impressed with what a pleasure it was to use and how good the image quality was. It also struck me that it was laudable of Fuji to give exactly the same sensor and image quality from their flagship cameras to a lower end model.
The Fujifilm GFX 50S really is a game changer for Fuji. A medium format mirrorless camera, it combines the company’s heritage of classic medium format film cameras like the G690, GS645 and G617 with their retro mirrorless digitalX Series. It’s a fascinating combination and makes sense for a company like Fuji to fuse their decades of experience of medium format film systems with their brilliant mirrorless digital cameras to create a large mirrorless medium camera system that targets users of professional full frame systems like the Nikon D810, the Canon 5DR and the Sony A7R2.
I've been playing around with the Mavic Pro for about 3 months now, getting more confident with flying it and trying to get the best out of the drone. I've experimented with both the camera and gimbal settings to try to get the footage looking as smooth as possible, and last week headed out to the forests of Sintra at sunrise to make a short video about what I've found works best.
The camera is sensitive to sharpening. Reduce it too much and the Mavics noise reduction turns shadows into mush, removing detail that's impossible to put back in editing, but have the sharpening too high and it produces a lot of artefacts and moiré in repeated detail.
Back in February, Hugo and Mauricio from Fuji X Passion joined me for a day of street photography in Lisbon. The plan was to spend a day, from sunrise to sunset recording a film while exploring and photographing in this beautiful city.
I wanted the film to show what an amazing place Lisbon is with its atmospheric neighbourhoods, winding streets, steeps hills and views across the river, so I planned out a day where we would see as much as possible, starting with sunrise looking out across the rooftops towards the river, and finishing with a sunset, again above the river, but this time next to the beautiful modern architecture of MAAT.
Since I got hold of the DJI Mavic Pro last month I've been slowly trying to get to grips with flying and filming with drones, as well as filming and editing in general. While I principally bought the drone for shooting video I am also interesting in it's capabilities for still photography, particularly as I'll be in Iceland later this year and I'd like to have a go at some abstract aerial images of glaciers and rivers. So I decided to experiment with the RAW images on the Mavic and create a video review for my Youtube channel while I was doing it.
I headed out to shoot a sunrise at Portinho da Arrabida, but it was really windy which limited how much drone flying I could do...still, I did manage to get a few photographs that I could experiment with in Lightroom.
I've been fascinated by drones for a number of years and tempted to get one. The thing that has always put me off is how big and bulky they are. Even a smaller drone like the DJI Phantom is a cumbersome object that fills it's own backpack. There's no way I could see being able to incorporate a drone like that into my shooting kit, which I like to keep as small and lightweight as possible. I knew that what would happen with a drone like that would be that it would get left behind more often than not as taking it with me would mean leaving other things behind or carrying very large and bulky bag.
So when DJI announced the Mavic Pro back in October I was really intrigued. After reading the first reviews, I ordered one and then waited for it to arrive. And waited...
One of the things I’m most excited about doing in 2017 is learning how to use video more. There’s such a massive potential now with so many really portable high quality video cameras on the market, as well as the fact that Fujifilm have well and truly nailed video in their new cameras.
Of course this means learning a whole host of new skills, from shooting video and capturing good audio, to editing the footage and cutting music in. Then there are screen recordings, time lapses, there’s just a lot to learn and it’s going to take a long time till I’ll feel remotely competent.
Back in October I got together with Hugo and Mauricio of Fuji X Passion to make a film about shooting landscapes on the coast of Portugal. We wanted to make a film that captured the spirit of photography, as well as covering all the practices in the field as well as post processing.
Despite being pretty unlucky with the weather, which is usually interesting in October, we had a lot of fun shooting at one of my favourite locations, the beach of Praia d'Ouriçal at Portugal's westernmost tip of Cabo da Roca. It's a tricky beach to access and carrying numerous cameras, a drone, heavy video tripods and 5 or 6 bags down to the beach was a lot of fun, but it's the kind of place that when you arrive it always feels worth the effort.
We shot the ocean here, looking at how to capture movement in the water and composition, and despite having heavy cloud and little direct light, it's still an atmospheric and fascinating location to shoot.
Over the course of this year I've been to some incredible beaches on Portugal's coast. While researching and shooting with my friend Rob for the Alem Lisboa guide book and hiking project we've been working on we've headed out to some pretty off-the-beaten-path locations, and Praia do Giribeto is certainly one of them. Located at the foot of what at first seem to be sheer cliffs, the beach is described on a local website like this:
"The access is via a dirt path by the villages of Assafora and Magoito that ends in a high difficulty trail on the cliff top, towards the sand. It's advisable to access the beach by sea."
On closer observation however there is a clear path going down which the fishermen use, and in the particularly steep places there's a rope to hold on to. So access isn't super easy, but it's not as tricky as beaches like Ouriçal and Aroeira further down the coast.